Friday, December 19, 2008

Is Tomorrow the Second Saturday of Christmas?

Last Saturday, Dionte Christmas exploded for 30 points in the second half, scoring 35 overall, in Temple's upset victory of then 8th-ranked Tennessee. It couldn't have been better timing for Christmas, what with anywhere from 17 to 22 NBA scouts hanging out in North Philadelphia.

Tomorrow, Temple again takes on a top program, albeit one that's currently unranked. Yeah, they just so happen to be the defending champs. This time, Dionte and company will be on the road to take on the Jayhawks in Kansas, and for the second straight Saturday, the Owls will be an afternoon showcase on ESPN. Temple's hoping for a repeat performance from both the team and its star player.

Last Saturday, Dionte caught the eye of the nation and pro scouts. If he can duplicate his performance, or come remotely close, his draft stock and national notoriety will skyrocket. Now, I've seen many Temple guards come and go in my 24 years. My personal favorite is Lynn Greer, the sharpshooting lefty who should be on an NBA roster somewhere.

Anyway, there have been some really good ones: Rick Brunson, Pepe Sanchez, Mardy Collins, Mark Karcher (forward I guess), just to name a few. And there's the cream of the crop in Eddie Jones and Aaron McKie.

Well, I think, believe it or not, Dionte is more in the Jones-McKie mold. He's a decent defender, rangy guard and from the looks of it, every bit as good a scorer as a young Eddie Jones. The man should get drafted, and another good game on national television would certainly help.

So let's hope Christmas comes around once again tomorrow, and Dionte builds off last weekend's dynamic performance. Who knows, come June, maybe Christmas will be delivered to some team in the first round.

BallHype: hype it up!

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